43 Awesome Things To Do for Thanksgiving Weekend in L.A. [11-22-2018 to 11-25-2018]

Los Angeles provides no limit of things to do, some awesome and some not so awesome. Since time is precious in this fast paced city we curate a list of things to do in Los Angeles for every weekend that’ll help you decide how you want to spend your limited supply of attention (not to mention dollars!).

This Thanksgiving weekend, from Thursday, November 22 to Sunday, November 25, features Winterfest at Santa Anita Park, Queen Mary Christmas, Arroyo Seco Marketplace, Hollywood Christmas Parade, Art Fair in the Garden and MUCH more.


Remember you can always go to our L.A. events calendar page to get an updated rundown of what’s happening around the city.

Hope you find the rundown useful and, as always, enjoy your weekend!

Hollywood Christmas Parade
Image via Hollywood Christmas Parade

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

1. This Thanksgiving the Laugh Factory in Hollywood welcomes all those who are living in L.A. away from home, homeless, or simply in need of a good meal and hearty laugh. Top comics will join other celebrities to serve guests a turkey dinner with all the trimmings free of charge. This tradition has been going strong for 39 years. FREE

2. Guests of Cafe Gratitude Larchmont will receive a free Thanksgiving inspired vegan plate. Like every year the deal is on a first come, first serve basis from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or while still available).

3. The 48th annual Dinner in the Park at Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena will feed thousands of homeless and low-income individuals and families this Thanksgiving. The event brings members of the community together to share holiday cheer with those who have nowhere to go this holiday. FREE

4. Need some last minute ideas for where to eat out on Thanksgiving? Check out the food picks section at the end of our list of 35 fun things to do this week.

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

5. Winterfest at Santa Anita Park kicks off the holiday season in style. This family friendly event includes a visit from Santa Claus, horse drawn carriage rides a Santa’s Village and petting zoo, carolers, seasonal foods, 80+ vendors and much more. Winterfest continues Thursdays through Sunday from November 23 through December 2. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

6. Descanso Gardens’ Enchanted: Forest of Light returns for another installment with a host of interactive displays and nighttime activities from November 18 through January 6, 2019. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

7. Instead of Black Friday, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont will celebrate Green Friday with free admission to the garden. Guests can experience Origami in the Garden exhibition, explore 86 acres of California native plants and more. FREE

8. One of L.A.’s most magical holiday traditions, L.A. Zoo Lights returns November 16, 2018 through January 6, 2019 with thousands upon thousands of LED lights illuminating the zoo. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

9. Celebrate the holiday season during a Queen Mary Christmas (Nov. 23 – Jan. 6) The special occasion will see Christmas spirit lining the famous Long Beach vessel including an 80-foot Christmas tree, a variety of holiday activities, an outdoor staking rink, musical performances, a 4D showing of The Polar Express, and dinner shows on select dates.

10. Head down to The Fairplex at Pomona for the Chinese Lantern Festival where the theme is “The Wild,” featuring animals represented in lanterns from five different areas of the world, Antartica, Asia, Oceania, Africa and America. Some of the larger pieces stand all the way up to 23 feet tall. The festival run every Thursday through Sunday from Nov. 15 – Jan. 16.

11. The Bai Holiday Ice Rink returns to Pershing Square from Nov. 15, 2018 to Jan. 21, 2019 featuring a 7200 square foot outdoor ice-skating experience. A wide variety of events will take place throughout the duration of the rink.

12. Beautycon is offering a pop up expereince titled Beautycon POP from Nov. 16 through Dec. 16 featuring immersive galleries, makeup brands, vendors, a salon and other beauty related activities.

13. Sherman Oaks resident Mike Ziemkowski’s elaborate Christmas themed animatronic characters will return once again with Lights on Display a dazzling light show with a playlist of holiday tunes. Free to the public, the 13-minute show runs nightly 6 to 10 p.m. from November 23 through January 1, 2018. FREE

14. Party With is Los Angeles’ new Instagram-ready experience. Opening it’s doors on Friday Nov. 16 in Westfield Santa Anita Mall, folks can expect 15 premium photogenic installations like an infinity rainbow and a room filled with sparkling disco balls. Party With runs through January 27 and is open Thursdays through Sundays.

15. The Holiday Light Festival Train Ride at Griffith Park is a festive one mile ride on the tracks with tens of thousands of lights to get you in the Holiday spirit. Running Nov 23 through Dec. 23 and then again from December 26 to December 30.

16. The LA Phil brings iconic Stanley Kubrick film clips to life through haunting live scores from Nov. 23-25 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

17. It’s Black Friday at the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center where all pet adoption fees are just $10 for the first 100 people. NKLA Pet Adoption Center will also have select pets for $10 for the first 100 adopters as well. The promotion ends Sunday. Each pet is spayed or neutered, micro-chipped, and vaccinated.

18. 260 Sample Sale will host a Black Friday shopping event featuring Rebecca Minkoff and D.L. & Co. from Friday through Sunday with discounts up to 75% off of women’s wear and accessories, men’s accessories from Rebecca Minkoff and home goods from D.L. & Co.

19. Catch George A. Romero’s Dawn of The Dead in 3D at the Aero Theatre this Friday.

20. Golden Road LA and OC will both host a Golden Friday Fun Run. The 5k will will be followed by a party.

21. Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are among us and Vinovore wine shop will be serving complimentary bubbly while you shop with 10% off all retail items and 15% off bottles and books from Ms. Readmore,

Saturday November 24th, 2018

22. This November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month and the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace is partnering with the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control to host an adoption party for senior dogs and other pets this Saturday. Annenberg PetSpace will be waiving adoption fees until further notice to help make room for the incoming animals who have been relocated to the facility because of theWoolsey fire. This event is free to attend.

23. Support local business at the 2nd annual Arroyo Seco Marketplace. The event takes place at The Audubon Center at Debs Park and will feature a wide variety of artist and vendors from Los Angeles. Activities include screen printing, wreath making, succulent and cactus potting, and more. Admission is free.

24. The Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden presents Moonlight Forest, where crafted lanterns line the garden grounds, some depicting animals, shimmering exotic flowers, and figures from Chinese legends. Happening Wednesdays through Sunday till November. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

25. It’s the last Mar Vista Art Walk of the year. Check out over 70 artists and vendors from the area, local food trucks a beer garden at King Eddy’s Saloon, a block party, winter wonderland for kids and more. Admission is free.

26. LA Original will pop up at the Los Angeles County Store in Silver Lake highlighting L.A.’s creative economy and local manufacturers. Expect a selection of LA Original products to be at the store from November 24, 2018 through January 20, 2019.

27. It’s that time of the year to celebrate the holiday season, which is the main purpose of Fa La Land, a pop up museum at Row DTLA. Guests will enjoy a wide variety of installations like a Jingle Bell Toy Factory and a fluorescent “Fa La Forest.” Fa La Land runs Nov. 18 through Jan. 6, 2019.

28. Get into the winter spirit when ICE at Santa Monica returns with a 8,000 square foot ice skating rink. Running November 3, 2018 through January 21, 2019.


29. Vintage Blue Moon presents a Vintage Holiday Boutique at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club. Shop from some of the best vintage vendors and artisans, the sales go to benefit the organization STOP, India, dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating girls and women who have been trafficked.

30. The Foodie Space (Nov. 21- Dec. 30) is the latest interactive pop-up museum designed for serial foodie photo-taker’s. Located in Pasadena the museum claims to poke fun at society’s obsession with social media and #foodporn. Food-themed exhibits include a giant bowl of phở, glitter fries that you can marry and more.

31. To celebrate Small Business Saturday ROW DTLA’s community of more than 50 small businesses will be offering guests discounts at select stores.

32. Take a look into renowned architect Sou Fujimoto’s work at the Japan House’s new exhibit “Futures of the Future.” The showcase will explore the award winning ideas and themes used throughout Fujimoto’s career. Over 100 live scale replicas will be present. The exhibit will run from Oct. 27 – Dec. 12. FREE

33. Downtown Pomona Collectors St. Faire will pack the streets with three blocks of antique vendors in a fun festival environment. Admission is free.

34. L.A.’s pop-up museum catalogue is growing larger this fall with The Pizza Experience – a multi-sensory pizza themed walkthrough. Explore giant installations, an oversized cheese pool, a pizza hall of fame, pizza theme-flavored snacks throughout, actual pizza slices and more. The Pizza Experience runs through January 7. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

Sunday November 25th, 2018

35. The Museum of the San Fernando Valley presents a North Hollywood Walking Tour where guests can learn about the areas past. Highlighted points of interest include the Amelia Earhart Statue and library, St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church, So. Pacific Railroad Depot, the NoHo Arts District, and much more.

36. LA Tofurky Trot Fun Run and Vegan Food Fest will have you take part in a seasonal 5k fun run through Crystal Springs Recreation Area in Griffith Park, followed by a huge Vegan Food Fest.

37. Celebrate the Holiday Season with 2018’s Hollywood Christmas Parade, featuring musical performances, life-size balloons, marching band shows and much more.

38. Art Fair in the Garden will convert the grounds of The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden into a walking gallery showcasing local artists from mediums in photography, sculptures, paintings and ceramics. 

39. Hello Critter Goat Yoga offers an hour-long session taught by a certified yoga instructor highlighted by Nigerian dwarf goats that roam the class and interact with attendees.

40. Head to Heritage with Heart a holiday party at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena. This family friendly event will include a tree lighting, festive activities and a visit from Santa. A portion of proceeds will benefit Elizabeth House.

41. Come hang out the last Sunday of every month at a no-pressure, automotive and design enthusiast meetup called Cars & Coffee. A slew of beautiful cars have come through in the time this has been running, and each week the opportunity to see some rare and classic automobiles is very open.


42. Notorious RBG explores the life and career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg through a collection of contemporary art, archives, interactives, archival photographs and more. Each gallery section will allude to a song by the Notorious B.I.G. as the name of the exhibit suggests, and will playfully bring out the similarities between the two. Happening at the Skirball Cultural Center. The exhibit runs until March 10. The museum is free every Thursday.

43. Free museum days: Craft and Folk Art Museum (pay what you can) and Museum of Latin American Art

Food Pick for the Week

Photo Credit: Christina Champlin // We Like L.A.

This week’s pick by Christina Champlin, Co-Founder of We Like L.A.

Stop by Rappahannock Oyster Bar at ROW DTLA for the new brunch menu. Start with a cocktail and immediately put in an order of the Kimchi Cheddar Biscuits. They come in a pair and are baked to order, which can take up to 20 minutes. As for the rest of brunch, you’ll have some tough decisions to make. Here’s one idea: Fried Chicken and Waffle topped with country gravy, house made pickles and gooey cheddar that is served as a sandwich. It’s decadent and delicious. Rappahannock’s version of a Benedict involves thick slices of fried green tomato topped with meaty lobster smothered in hollandaise sauce. Take a bite out of that crunchy crusted exterior and you’ll never want an english muffin with your Benedict again. Lastly, you wrap it up (if you have room) with the pancakes. They come in a cast iron topped with nuts, smoked maple syrup and bananas.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar is located at 787 S Alameda Street, #154, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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